Halong Bay Itinerary - BEST Itinerary to Halong Bay

Lê Ngọc Minh Châu - November 02, 2018

After more than 5 years in travel industry, supporting more than 100.000 Travellers to the North of Vietnam, We – AZlocaltrip would like to introduce you the Best Itinerary to meet all almost travelers.

If you look for another one, feel free to contact us to Customize your travel to Halong Bay

Several Itinerary below

Itinerary for other destinations near Halong Bay

Day 3 in Halong Bay

Free Halong Bay Itinerary with Local Experts

Planning an itinerary is never easy, there’re so many questions to answer:

  • Where?
  • What?
  • When?
  • How?
  • and How Much?

The research from Expedia also shows that 86% travelers see planning an itinerary boring and tired. But don’t worry!

  • Contact us for a Free Customized Itinerary: Info@AZlocaltrip.com

These Halong Bay itinerary are suitable and reasonable and many of our tourists use these itineraries for their trip. If you’re still wondering which itinerary suit you the most, please take a look at this article: How many days in Halong Bay?

Why Halong Bay? Why should you think about a Halong Bay Itinerary

Halong Bay has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994 and a main tourist attraction of Vietnam which welcomes millions of tourists coming here each year. This beautiful nature wonder is located in Quang Ninh Province, in the Northeast of Vietnam and is about 170km to the east of Hanoi. The scenery here in Halong Bay is majestic yet ethereal at the same time. Not only the scenery, there’re a lot sea and land activities in Halong for your best exploration and fun experience

Please check out Is It Worth Visiting Halong Bay? if you’re still wondering to go or not to go to Ninh Binh. It might help you to make a decision Is it worth visiting Halong Bay?

Halong-Bay day 2

Hon Dau Nguoi – masterpiece art that mother nature gift to Ha Long Bay

  • Outstanding Universal Value 

Halong Bay features thousands of limestone karst and islands in various shapes and sizes, most of which are natural and unaffected by humans. This creates a spetacular seascape of limestone pillars rising from the emeral water of the Gulf of Tonkin. The outstanding value that makes Halong Bay a UNESCO World Heritage Site lies in the drowned limestone karst landforms. These limestone karst landforms worn down by 500 million years of tropical downpours, and topped by thick jungle growth. Some of the landforms are hollow, creating majestic caves.

  • Variety of water and land activities 

Halong Bay has so much more to offer than just scene and sights. There are plenty of activities for tourists, incluing water activities and land activities. Some of the most popular water activities are: kayaking, snorkeling, squid fishing, swimming,… Besides, activities on land are also chosen by many people, such as: rock climbing, visiting floating village, cycling, dinning in caves,…

Planning Halong Bay Itinerary – Best time to go to Halong Bay? 

Halong Bay is in the Northeast of Vietnam so it has 4 seasons just like Hanoi: Spring (March – May), Summer (June – August), Autumn (September – November) and Winter (December – February). However, there’re differences because Halong Bay belongs to the sea area.

The best time to visit Halong Bay is Srping ( from March to May) and Autumn ( from September to November). The weather is pleasant and nice during these periods, suitable for outdoor activities.

Summer ( from June to August ) is a high season for young travellers especially students. However, this is also the typhoon season in Halong so your schedules might be cancelled because of the sudden typhoons and storms for safety reasons. Winter here is rainy and foggy but you can still enjoy some recreational activities.

For more information to arrange your best trip, check out this detailed article: Best time to go to Halong Bay?

Halong Bay Itinerary Best Time 2

Romantic beauty in Halong Bay at sunset in summer

How to get to Halong Bay?

Halong Bay is about 170 kilometers away from Hanoi. If you go by car, it takes about 3 – 4 hours from Hanoi to Halong. Halong Bay is easily accessible by different means of transportation.

Below are some of the transportation you can use:

Shuttle Bus

Shuttle bus or tourist bus only departs from Hanoi. Shuttle bus leaves Hanoi around 08:00 and return at 12:00 from Halong Bay every day. You have to go by yourself or take a taxi to the meeting point. Shuttle bus costs each person 10 to 30 USD one way.


Private cars are also a convenient option. A variety of tour agencies or companies provide this service. Just book a car and it’ll bring you to Halong Bay. The pick-up time is flexible.


The Halong Express train departs from Gia Lam Railway Station every day. You can choose to go by train to Halong Bay with USD20/single ticket. However, going by train can take a bit longer than going by car.


This is for anyone outside Hanoi but still want to visit Halong Bay. From Danang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City, you can fly either to Hanoi or Hai Phong City. Then you take a car to Halong City. Even from other countries, you also need to follow this route get access to Halong Bay.


Other luxury option is taking the helicopter. This service is exclusively run by Northern Vietnam Helicopter. The whole journey will take about 1.5 hours and only departures from Hanoi.


A new choice for modern and luxury transportation to Halong Bay is seaplane. One seaplane contains 2 pilot seats, 12 passenger seats and spacious windows. The huge advantage of taking a seaplane is that from the sky, you can observe the beauty of Halong Bay from above.

Halong Bay Itinerary – Halong Bay Cruises

There are many Halong Bay Itinerary with different length. Below are some:

  • Day trip cruises
  • 2 Day-1 Night cruises (2D1N)
  • 3 Day-2 Nights cruises (3D2N)
  • 4 Day-3 Nights cruises (4D3N)

Staying overnight on cruise in Halong will be memorable

Staying overnight on cruise in Halong will be memorable

Day trip cruises lasts for only 1 day and no overnight on board. You’ll get on cruise in the morning and get off at the end of the day. Day trip cruises are short journeys created to give you a little taste of the feeling of moving among islands and give you a brief view overall Halong Bay.

You can book day cruises with no overnight stay departing from Hanoi or Halong Bay. Half day cruises are also available but I recommend not taking this since it’d be too rushed. There’s no point in having such a long tiring day!

A 2 days cruise provide you overnight. Overnight cruises are more popular choice and allow some more time to relax and truly enjoy the scenery. You get to sleep on board surrounded by the islands and wake up with gorgeous view! 2 days 1 night is a reasonable time and suit most travelers.

There are 3 days to 4 days itinerary for longer trip and more exploration. With this length, there’re many activities in the cruise. You’ll be transferred from the main cruise to a smaller one for the daily activities. After the whole day, they will return you to the big cruise in the evening. To summarize, the length of your stay depends on how much you want to explore, your time and your budget. The longer you stay, the more chances you’ll have to navigate through areas and do more activities.

Halong Bay Reviews on TripAdvisor

  • Mahaswaran: If you’re visiting Vietnam, don’t miss this place

Magnificently beautiful. It’s the place to visit. Did a day trip however recommend to spend a night as day trips are really tiring. From Hanoi it’s about 3 hrs plus. There’s many tour agencies around that sells packages ranging from USD 35 to USD 65. For day trip, the best package is the 6 hour tour. It goes to more places, get to visit an amazing cave, kayaking or bamboo boating and a visit to an island to have a top view of the bay or for a swim. Lunch is served and they sell drinks and beers on board. Thanks for the best Halong Bay Itinerary.

  • Yancy from China: Stunning beauty

This is beyond doubt the highlight of our Vietnam tour. We were on an ocean-going cruise, and came in the bay early in the morning. With the sun rising as the background, mist floating on the surface of the water, the various rock islands, of different sizes and shapes, rising from the water, look like the picture from a fairy tale. You have to see it to appreciate the amazing beauty. We took a bay tour later in the morning. With blue sky overhead, calm water alongside, clear visibility, the various shapes of rock formations dotting the bay made me feel that we have entered fairyland. A picture that I really do not know how to describe. Photographers please do not miss this place when you are in the neighbourhood.